Review posted March 14, 2013.
Walden Pond Press (HarperCollins), March 2013. 428 pages.
Science Fiction stories with aliens aren't really my thing, but they were very much my son's thing, so I have a soft spot for them still. When my now-25-year-old son was much younger, Bruce Coville was his favorite author, particularly the My Teacher Is an Alien books. The Fellowship for Alien Detection has similar themes, with kids the only ones able to figure out an alien plot to take over the world.
The book was on the long side for me, but I think kids who like the alien theme will find that a bonus. Two middle-school kids from opposite sides of the country, Haley and Dodger, have been given a fellowship to spend the summer investigating their own theories about alien activity on earth. Haley has been investigating missing time events, associated with missing people. Dodger has been hearing strange broadcasts from a town called Juliette. The broadcasts are always from the same day.
As they travel to suspicious sites, soon they seem to be under suspicion by sinister forces. Neither Haley's nor Dodger's parents realize the danger their children are in for. If they investigate further, will they be kidnapped by aliens as well? What will happen to the missing people of Juliette? What will happen to planet Earth?
The plot of this book is fairly complex, with each kid piecing together clues before they come together, as well as the reader getting glimpses of what's going on in Juliette.
I recently read lots and lots of Middle Grade Science Fiction and Fantasy books for the 2012 Cybils Awards, and, believe it or not, I didn't read anything like this book -- a good, basic, kids-watching-out-for-aliens story that my son would have loved. If any kids at my library come looking for a book about aliens, I know exactly what to put in their hands.